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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Obama Still Wins

To hear a lot of Republicans right now, Barack Obama is all but on the ropes, his approval ratings slipping, the credibility of his economic stimulus package in tatters, his health plan under seige, his foreign policy stature diminished each day by events in Iran, and above all, his entire agenda threatened by a surge of public worry about government spending and federal deficits.
You don’t have to scoff at any and every danger sign for the administration to understand that when push comes to shove, Republicans just aren’t providing any credible alternative. And via Greg Sargent, the latest evidence is in a series of questions asked in the new ABC/Washington Post survey about the comparative trustworthiness of Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress on some basic issues.
On health care, it’s Obama 55%, GOPers 27%; on the economy, it’s Obama 55%, GOPers 31%. And check out these two categories: on the federal budget deficit, it’s Obama 56%, GOPers 30%, and on the threat of terrorism, it’s Obama 55%, GOPers 34%.
As I pointed out the other day, all the expressed unhappiness in the world with Obama’s policies won’t ultimately matter (at least in terms of 2010 and 2012) unless they translate into support for the opposition party, and Obama’s problems continue to look pretty small compared to those of the Republican Party.
I’m sure most of you remember the moment earlier this year when the President, responding to demands that he let Republicans rewrite his stimulus legislation to fit their own views, reminded them: “I won.” When it comes to the two-party competition, he’s still winning.

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